Davis Pickett, Sr. is one of the most successful businessmen in Indianapolis, though he disappears mysteriously right before the start of the novel after the police try to arrest him for fraud and embezzlement. He owns Pickett Engineering, the engineering firm that was commissioned to design a tunnel system to keep the sewers from overflowing into the river when it rains, though his firm never completed the project. Despite his financial success, Mr. Pickett is cold and generally disliked: Daisy discovers that he's been accused several times of workplace misconduct and has been sued a number of times, and Davis tells Aza that his father has never been there for him. On the extreme end of his un-fatherly tendency, Mr. Pickett makes news by willing his entire estate to his pet tuatara, Tua, and not leaving his sons any of his money. Pickett Engineering offers a $100,000 reward for information leading to Mr. Pickett's discovery, which Aza and Daisy decide to try to win. Aza spends weeks puzzling over notes from Mr. Pickett's cell phone and fears that she inadvertently discovered his body in the Pogue's Run tunnel—one of the tunnels that Pickett Engineering constructed and never finished. Aza relays this information to Davis rather than go to the police herself.